Two wrongs don’t make a right, but these two women might.
By Chris Ingram
Principled grassroots conservatives have a chance to send the moneyed muckety-mucks a message this weekend at the RPOF meeting in Orlando when they vote for the replacement of disgraced former chairman Jim Greer.
The message is clear: Sharon Day is the only principled conservative in this race. Add to that that her primary opponent John Thrasher is supported by the very same people who gave us the Jim Greer fiasco, and you have to wonder, how could you not vote for Ms. Day if you’ve been even remotely embarrassed by the Jim Greer nightmare?
A few things to consider: John Thrasher and the power-elite within the party loath the grassroots. They tolerate them for sure. But “country club” Republicans snicker at those who show up at REC meetings, RPOF caucuses, and the grassroots who work on campaigns. They call them “wing nuts.” The party elite think money is the lone driver of all election outcomes. While money is certainly a strong force in politics, having heart-felt convictions and true-beliefs are what should motivate voters and candidates. Our party has suffered because we lost our way. “We the people” started to believe the power-elite and their moneyed interests. This lead to record budgets, enormous debts, increased entitlement spending, and more Republican elected officials in jail or under indictment than we’ve seen in a generation. Congressmen in jail should not be what we think of when we talk of convictions. But for many of the last several years that’s what we got.
I don’t doubt that John Thrasher is a good family man, and I don’t hold him responsible for Jim Greer, Charlie’s lack of leadership, the record federal deficit, or any other problem facing our state or nation. But what he is, and what he supports, and who he is supported by are certainly to blame. Let’s consider for just a moment who he is. John Thrasher is a career politician. He’s a hired-gun/lobbyist. And he’s part of the establishment that created the mess we’re in. Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.” In short, electing the same people who get us into the messes we’re in and expecting them to have the solutions to get us out of those messes is insane. Just like expecting us to believe that the people who gave us Jim Greer who now support John Thrasher as the answer to the RPOF’s problems is insane.
At last month’s RPOF meeting, an influential lobbyist in the state was trying to convince me over drinks that Thrasher was the right man for the job because he can raise the money needed to win. I almost fell for this argument but I came to my senses realizing what he failed to point out.
First is, if John Thrasher loves the Republican Party as much as he says he does, he should work to raise money for its candidates regardless of whether or not he’s the chairman. Second is, the power-elite have a lot to lose if they turn their backs on the RPOF if it is lead by Sharon Day. Redistricting following the census will come up next year, and no one has more to lose if the Democrats take control of the legislature than the corporations and special interests controlled by the money-men backing Thrasher. Thirdly, the RPOF needs a house cleaning. No. Check that. It needs an enema. And John Thrasher isn’t going to do it. He’s a former lobbyist, legislator, and career politico more concerned with where his bread is buttered than he is with the future of our state, nation, or the legacy we leave our children.
Case in point: Last year Thrasher gave money to Democrat Alex Sink. When I pointed this out to Thrasher’s lobbyist buddy he said, “Well Chris, the man’s got to make a living.” What he meant by this was, Thrasher gave the money to Sink because he had to play the game. My answer to Mr. Lobbyist was, “voters are tired of people playing games.” Stand for something. Believe in something. Do right. What’s so hard about this concept?
And while Thrasher proclaims his “love of the party” he apparently doesn’t “love” fairness, accountability, or transparency as those issues relate to the RPOF. He has rejected calls for an audit or a public disclosure of RPOF expenditures telling the Miami Herald, “The decision to have these issues aired in the mainstream media will only serve to trap our party in a continual discussion about the past, instead of looking forward to our future, and I will not participate in harming the party that I love so much.”
Give me a break! No one is talking about disclosure to the “mainstream media” – whatever that is – and if airing our dirty laundry is what it takes to get back to principled leadership, honesty, integrity, appropriateness, fairness, and accountability, I say, bring on the cameras and the scribes! Thrasher’s cry is a red-herring of this issue. He isn’t really concerned about public airing of the party’s dirty laundry; his concern is protecting his buddies in the legislature who would rather not have to explain Amex charges and the like to the Executive Committee, GOP voters, and their wives.
Earlier today I spoke to Sharon Day and I have full confidence that she will work hard to fix the ills of the RPOF. While Sharon isn’t perfect, and she most likely won’t serve without a stumble or two, her heart is in it for the right reasons. She’s no wallflower, and I believe she’ll shake things up – as they need to be shaken.
“I stand for true transparency. We need to see what is going on in that building (the RPOF). We need someone who knows how it works,” she said. Then I asked her if she would call for an audit and she said emphatically, “Yes. Absolutely. A third party audit—a true one. I’ve got no skin in this game. I’ve never turned in a single receipt for reimbursement.” And she later added, “The rank-and-file are standing with me…[they’ve been] disrespected and taken over. I will work to restore confidence and ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Following my conversation with Ms. Day I was confident that she has the heart, the mind, the strength, the courage, and the know-how to give the RPOF a swift kick in the butt so we can get back to basics. Get back to electing principled Republicans who stand for, and believe in something.
Our children deserve better than more of the same. Our children deserve leadership. Our children deserve Sharon Day.
On a related RPOF election note, I strongly support Deborah Cox-Roush for RPOF Vice Chairman. Deborah is a hard-working small businesswoman who knows what it means to meet a payroll and fine-tune a budget in tough economic times. She’s a committed conservative and a true patriot. I don’t know much about her main opponent (Nancy Riley) other than she’s a Charlie Crist apologist — which is reason enough for me to not give her any further consideration. That Deborah is such a strong candidate in her own right should make the committee’s choice on this one a no-brainer.
Bring on the hate mail.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of www.IrreverentView.com. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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